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Quick and easy budget recipes

Coming up with quick recipes that don’t cost the earth (we’re looking at you, pre-made meals!) can bring down the spirits of even the most committed at-home chef. The secret to success is drawing upon pantry staples and using them in a creative way that inspires you and your family to get cooking. Sometimes, a little twist, some extra spice or a new ingredient might be all you need to reinvent an old favourite. With this in mind, we’re sharing this list of easy-to-prepare dinner ideas that deliver on taste, give you a quick win in the kitchen and are wallet-friendly.

1. Dukkah bubble and squeak

Quick easy dinner recipes don’t come simpler than bubble and squeak – the canny meal that reinvents leftover vegies into a whole new dish. This version is a clever and aesthetically pleasing reinvention of the classic British meal, bringing a little extra spice thanks to a sprinkling of delicious and aromatic dukkah, salty crunch from the bacon, and protein from creamy, sunny-side-up fried eggs. Yes, please!

2. Chicken and kimchi fried rice

Easy recipes on a budget start with leftovers, and this dish takes yesterday’s rice and delivers today’s main. This recipe calls for chicken mince and three cups of cooked brown rice, but you can use any rice you have available. Then, it’s all about adding interest and flavour, like kimchi: a traditional Korean side dish made with fermented cabbage, radish or cucumber. It’s sour, tangy, salty and spicy, all at once, plus it adds texture and colour to this simple, straightforward rice dish.

3. Curried scrambled eggs

We’ve all turned to scrambled eggs as a last-minute meal, and it fits the brief for quick budget friendly dinner recipes! Elevating this staple dish is as simple as changing the flavour profile - think coconut cream and spices like chilli, ginger, garlic and coriander. The whole meal can be prepped and cooked in 15 minutes, making it the perfect option for a delicious dinner on the fly.

4. Spinach gnocchi and tuna bake

This tray bake keeps cooking utensils to a minimum, meaning it’s not only quick to make but the clean up is swift, too. Utilising pantry staples like tasty tuna, spinach gnocchi and pasta sauce, this dish serves up a fuss-free, nutritious and filling family meal without necessitating a trip to the shops. Better still, it tastes wholesome, fresh and delicious – a perfect weeknight meal that doesn’t break the bank and a great one to have in the repertoire.

5. Moroccan-style beef pizzas

When the base is pre-made, pizza is one of the speediest meals to prepare, and a fun one to get the whole family involved! This African twist takes mouthwatering beef meatballs to new heights. Using a pita base, the pizza’s ingredients are quickly chopped, sprinkled and drizzled (it has yoghurt, too!) for a pizza that’s about as pretty as they come. And the taste? A crispy, spicy, aromatic taste sensation offset by sweet-yet-tart Greek yoghurt – more proof that easy budget friendly recipes are better when they lean on reinvention!